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Sudoku is the biggest puzzle craze in years. The puzzles themselves have been around for many years in the U.S. and elsewhere under many different names, but they really caught fire in Japan during the 1990s.
The rules are simple. A quick look reveals that each puzzle is a 9-by-9 grid of squares divided into nine 3-by-3 square blocks, with some of the squares filled in for you. The object is to fill in the blank squares in such a way that each of the numbers 1 to 9 appears exactly once in each row, column, and block. If the puzzle has been constructed properly, there should be only one way to complete the diagram within the rules of the game. Despite this apparent simplicity, solving some sudoku puzzles can be complicated indeed.